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Chief Justice Roberts Jokes He's Headed To 'An Impregnable Fortress'

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Jim Watson
AFP/Getty Images
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts surprised the country yesterday by siding with the liberal wing of the court in the health care decision.

Roberts was appointed by President George W. Bush and has reliably taken conservative positions. But after yesterday's decision, you can bet his welcome from conservatives who saw him as a hero has chilled.

Speaking to a conference of judges and lawyers outside of Pittsburg, Roberts acknowledged his predicament.

The Washington Post reports that Roberts joked that this summer he'll be on a pre-planned trip teaching a legal course in Malta, "an impregnable island fortress ... It seemed like a good idea."

The Post notes that the response drew a hearty laugh from the audience.

The AP says that Roberts declined to offer more details on the majority opinion he authored. But said he hopes his court "will be remembered for 'protecting equal justice under the law.'"

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.